Friuli Venezia-Giulia is a northeastern region of Italy that borders Austria, Slovenia and the Adriatic Sea. Slavic, German and Mediterranean influences and traditions converge in this region. There’s a fabulous Christmas market in the regional capital of Trieste.
Trieste is a city and seaport where Italian culture meets the architectural style of the Habsburg Monarchy. Book a room at the Grand Hotel Duchi d’Aosta (duchi.eu; 39-040-760-0011), which is housed in one of the buildings on the Piazza Unità. The wines of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region are relatively unknown outside Italy. Try a refosco if youwant a red wine or a ribolla gialla if you’re drinking white.
If you are longing for a winter wonderland scenario on New Year’s Eve in Italy a good option is Tarvisio, in the province of Udine.
For almost 50 years, they have hosted the Alps’ longest torchlight parade: the traditional Torchlight Parade of Monte Lussari. The event takes place on January 1st at sunset, in the Camporosso area.
About 250 skiers descend the ski slope of Di Prampero wearing traditional costumes (Tyrolean wool cloak, sweater, wool socks and pants, studded boots and hat) illuminated only by their torchlights. There is also a market hosting stalls with local products and a torchlight parade for kids at 4:30 pm.
This area has the pristine alpine regions of the Carnia and Julian Alps. The regional capital is Trieste. The Civic Museum of the Sea in Trieste displays the history of navigation.
The ancient Romans left remarkable traces in Aquileia. The Romanesque-Gothic Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia and the Archaeological Area became a UNESCO inscribed World Heritage Site in 1998. Destroyed by Attila in the mid 5th century, Aquileia was a Roman river port and one of the largest and wealthiest cities of the Early Roman Empire. Surrounded by ruins, visit the Roman villas, baths and temples. Most of the site is intact and has not been excavated.
The Patriarchal Basilican Complex is a fascinating archeological site with splendid mosaics that represent the secret language of Christianity. This town played an important role in the spread of Christianity into Central Europe in the early Middle Ages.
The nearby seaside resort town of Grado is a great “Vino con Vista” destination. Order a glass of Sauvignon, Riesling or Tocai to enjoy with your San Daniele prosciutto and Montasio cheese in the center of the old town. Then consider some Romandolo sweet white dessert wine with your strudel. Visit the 4th century Duomo of Santa Maria delle Grazie with beautiful 6th century mosaics and the Basilica di Sant’ Eufemia.
The praises of the Aquileia vineyards have been sung since the Roman Empire. They are currently dominated by red Merlot and white Tocai grapes. The Ramandolo appellation has been granted the prized DOCG designation for the honey colored dessert wine; the pinnacle of the quality guidelines for wine production.
Holiday Events in Friuli Venezia-Giulia
There are some distinctive traditional holiday events in Trieste. This Market begins with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in Piazza S. Antonio and ends on December 26th, 2019.
Here’s a good holiday song for Trieste and the rest of this chilly Alpine region: “Baby it’s Cold Out There” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYFMVfAbbgU&feature=related.
“Il Pignarul” is held in Tracento, near Udine on January 6th. After a pageant with participants dressed in thirteenth-century costume, they re-create the Three Wise Men‘s encounter with the Baby Jesus. At the end of the ceremony that ends at Castello Goia, an enormous bonfire called “Pignarul” ensues. The direction that the smoke travels signifies whether the harvest for the next season will be abundant. Many “Pignarul” festivities are held in Friuli.
“Krampus Festivities” are held in many towns in the Carnia Valley with elaborate masks that portray the 12 faces of evil. Krampus is St. Nick’stwo-horned furry alter-ego.
Many towns on the Austrian and Slovenian border celebrate the arrival of “San Nicolo” with charming festivities.
In Aquileia d’Inverno visit the “Mercatino Natalizio”
In Udine attend “Festa di Santa Lucia” in Borgo S. Lazzaro on via L. Moro
In Grado a “Concerto della Banda” will be held in the Auditorium Biagio on December 23rd and “Messa di Mezzanote” at the Basilica of Sant’Eufemia on December 24th. Attend Festa dell “Sfrisete” on Via Tasso on December 27th.
In Cividale there is a Historical Epiphany Pagent and Parade on January 6th
In Gremona “Messa del Tallero” is a Medieval Event held on January 6th with a historical parade of knights and damsels who accompany the Mayor to the Duomo. Attend the traditional “Dollar Mass” at the church when the Mayor gives a dollar minted in 1780 under the reign of Maria Teresa of Austria as part of the ceremony.
In Paularo “La Femenate Bonfire” is held on January 6th.
In Chiusaforte (UD) attend “Arriviano i Re Magi” on January 6th at Lungo le vie del Paese.
In San Giovgio di Nogaro (UD) attend “Le Befana vien dal Fiume” at Presso il Centro Canoa di Villanova on January 5th.
In Tarcento attend the Bonfire Festival on January 6th.
Buon Natale and Happy Hollidays from www.vino-con-vista.com